The world, as I see it ...
Howell Photographic Arts
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American Kestrep Wood Carving in 3D

20200511-ArvanisCarving

American Kestrep Wood Carving in 3D carved by John Arvanis 1/4/2020 with Thuya Burl mount.

Click image to get a 3D display. There are 6 rows of 24 images in this ObjectVR display. Zoom in too … this is a high resolution image.

I74 Bridge Final Keystone

20200506-I74Bridge

Final Keystone slips into place of the first arch of the I74 Bridge.

#I74Bridge
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

John Deere Classic Tee Marker in 3D

20200314-JDC2018TeeMarker

I've been working to develop my product photography skills … and especially creating 3D Object VR Images. This is my latest example that uses 4 rows of 24 images. Click through to see the 3D image.

I like to think I'm stepping up my game with this example. A little background as to how this is created …

I'm now using a Fanotec Nodal Ninja Mecha Rotator (E2) to spin the object on a turntable. I program this to take 24 photos in a rotation, one photo every 15 degrees. When the turntable rotates it stops and then tells my camera to take a photo every 15 degrees. This gives me one row of images.

I should also mention that I set up lighting in my studio based on what I learned from David Hobby's lighting workshop. This is essentially a 2 light setup with a 7' umbrella back left of the camera for fill, and a MagnMod Magbox key light setup camera right. I also have two softboxes that backlight my white linen backdrop. While this is all setup as Westcott Strobes, I only used the modeling lights for this project. I ran into some issues with gross reflections coming off the nameplate. So instead of using strobes, I used the modeling lights and took each photo as a set of 5 brackets to create an HDR image.

So … 4 rows of 24 images with 5 brackets for each image ,,, yes, this consisted of 480 images.

This was all shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with a 17mm f1.2 Zuiko Lens. I set up the camera to automatically take a 5 bracket series whenever the rotator told it to take a photo.

In order to get each row separated consistently, I used my Fanotec Nodal Ninja V Pano Head to set up each row at 0, 30, 60, and 90 degrees respectively.

Here's a behind the scenes look at the setuo.

20200314-BTS

I use Adobe Lightroom to merge the HDR Images and refine the images. I owe a shout out to Tony Ventouris (http:/tonyventourisphotography.com) for some great coaching on how to create great product photos.

After merging I used 96 images to create the ObjectVR image. I did have to mask each of these in Adobe Photoshop to create the perfect white background.

Finally, assemble it all for display with Garden Gnome's Object2VR.

It's been a fun project.

#JDClassic
#ObjectVR
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

TBK Bank Sports Complex

20200301-TBKSportsComplex

Drone view of the TBK Sports Complex as an ObjectVR Image. 24 images from 400 ft in the air. Click through to see the view in 3D.

#TBKSportsComplex
#ObjectVR
#DJI
#HowellPhotographicArts

I74 Bridge in 3D

20200221-I74Bridge

Drone view of the I74 Bridge as an ObjectVR Image. 24 images from 400 ft in the air. Click through to see the view in 3D.

#I74Bridge
#ObjectVR
#DJI
#HowellPhotographicArts

John Deere Classic Trophy in 3D

20200213-JDCTrophy

Click through for a 3D visual of the 2020 John Deere Classic Trophy! Spin it, zoom in, full screen it!

#JDClassic
#ObjectVR
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

John Deere Classic Tee Markers

20200214-JDCTeeMarkers

I had the opportunity to develop my product photography skills by photographing the John Deere Classic Champion Commemorative Tee Markers. Starting in 2004, the tournament champion signed a limited series of special tee markers. This is the entire set.

I74 Bridge Construction

20200129-I74Bridge

I74 Bridge Construction over the Mississippi River from a drone.


#I74Bridge
#dji
#HowellPhotographicArts

Hot Glass Visiting Artists

20191214-HotGlass

Hot Glass with Visiting Artosts Alex Stisser and John Miller.




#HotGlass
#AlexStisser
#JohnMiller
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts


Iowa City Fab Lab

20191213-ICFabLab

Iowa City Fab Lab facility photos. ICFabLab.org


#ICFabLab
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

The Rust Belt

20190828-TheRustBelt

The Rust Belt facility. A few outside front shots and inside shots of the Green Room(s), VIP Room, and Back Stage.

#TheRustBelt
#Drone
#DJIMavic2Pro
#DJI
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

The Rust Belt

20190815-TheRustBelt

The Rust Belt was set up for the Quad City Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration.

I captured a Panorama of the main event space and a number of photographs of the facilities.

#TheRustBelt
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

UTHS Open House

20190805-UTHSOpenHouse

2019 UTHS Student Life Addition Ribbon Cutting and Open House.

#UTHS
#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

Tonya's Kitchen

20190411-TonyaKitchen

Tonya's kitchen.

#GetOlympus
#HowellPhotographicArts

Moline Riverfront Flood

20190409-MolineRiverfrontFlood
Quite the flood on the Mississippi River along the Moline Riverfront. Click the image for more drone photos. I also included a couple from the 1993 flood. At that time Rand Tapscott and I chartered a plane for him to get some good aerial shots of what was then the Deere & Company Technical Center.

#DJI
#Mavic2Pro
#Drone
#HowellPhotographicArts

I74 Bridge Construction

20190319-I74BridgeConstruction

A few drone shots of construction if the I74 Bridge across the Mississippi River.

#I74Bridge
#DJI
#Mavic2Pro
#Drone
#HowellPhotographicArts

Quad Cities Marathon Merch



Quad Cities Marathon Merchandise available at the Open House on 5 and 8 December.

Howell House Landscape

I74 Bridge Construction



I74 Bridge Construction

Today was the first day for automated approval of drone flight operations in controlled airspace in the Quad Cities. I've been waiting a long time for this, so … I took advantage and took some drone photos of the I74 Bridge Construction with my new Mavic 2 Pro.

I74 Bridge Update Press Conference

Fortress Bank

20180404-FortressBank

Davenport Bank & Construction Site
Head Shots
Farm Site
Peoria Bank
Monmouth Bank
Davenport Bank Closing

Gus

Charm Ribbon Cutting

20171115-CharmRibbonCutting


Soule Bowl

20170921-SouleBowl

Soule Bowl Photos

5/8/2017
8/18/2017
9/21/2017



Kennedy Chiropractic

20170503-KennedyChiropractic

The Vault Opening

20170301-TheVaultOpening

The Vault

20170219-TheVault

City Line Veterinary Open House

edge

SHCC Storm Damage

edgeWe were at Carlos O’Kelley’s for dinner since our power was out (turned out is was out for 3 days) when I received an innocent enough call saying “you might want to come out here and take a look”. It was Short Hills and I was SHOCKED when I went to see the damage caused by some “high straight line winds”. Well they were straight … straight across Short Hills holes 9, 8, 6, 4, 2, 3, 15, 17, and 13. What a mess it was as you can see in the photos I grabbed the next evening.

You could hear chainsaws running 7x24 for the next couple of weeks as our grounds crew did an amazing job cleaning it all up. You can hardly notice the damage anymore.

Bealer Home Theatre

edgeI just visited a fantastic home theatre installation by one of my colleagues. This construction was a long time in the making, and is really fantastic. Now only does it look great, it sounds fantastic as well. Click the image (or this link) to see the entire room.
And … if you’re interested in something like this in your home, drop me a note and I’ll put you in touch with the builder. He’s considering consulting on projects like this or even doing complete buildouts.

Calvary Lutheran Panorama

edgeNot far from the Quad Cities, in Illinois, there is a very nice community called New Windsor. While New Windsor is famous in our area as the host of the “Biggest Little Rodeo” … it should also be known as one of the nicest “country” church around. You don’t need directions to get to Calvary Lutheran as it is a very prominent landmark in New Windsor that would be difficult to miss. This is the church home to a few of my friends and colleagues and in particular Eric Young asked me to do a 360 Panorama of the sanctuary. Here’s my attempt.

I used a 35mm lens at f16 on my iDmkIV for this pano and therefore took 75 frames to stitch together. I did 5 horizontal rows of 25 frames each with a Nodal Ninja 5 pano head. Church sanctuaries, in particular, have a lot of dynamic range to them with some dark shadowy areas and some brightly lit highlight areas. This one was no exception, and was particularly challenging since it was a bright, clear day and the morning sun was shining directly in the stained glass windows over the entry doors. Therefore I used HDR processing to accommodate this high dynamic range scene and used 7 exposures of each frame with a 2eV step between each exposure to capture a 12eV total range. As a result, I ended up with 525 separate images to process into this single panorama.

The image you see above is the flattened “sphere” that results from the stitching and HDR operations. I use a software product called PTGui, which uses the Open Source Pano Tools project, to get this far. I am pretty proud of the quality of the stitching. While it took me a little white to hand tune the control points for the image, the result is pretty satisfying. I have yet to identify a stitching error.

The HDR part is a little more challenging and I continue to experiment with different HDR processors to improve the image to capture more of the detail in the windows. One of my challenges is that this image is pretty large, something like 37,000 x 12,000 pixels. It’s difficult to find good software tools that can handle these types of images. (The resulting photoshop file of the above image, including each of the 7 blend planes is something like 30GB is size).

So far I’ve tried true HDR Tone Mapping and Exposure Fusion with PTGui and then improve the image in Photoshop CS5. The above image was created with Exposure Fusion processing and is an improvement over the the HDR Tone Mapping I tried originally. I’ll update these as I go along.

Even though I am using a 4 core i7 processor with 12GB of memory, these images take days to process … literally.


While this is an interesting overview of the Panorama, the objective is to create a virtual environment that the user can navigate around and zoom in and out as they see fit. Therefore I use another set of tools called krpano to convert the above flattened sphere into 6 faces of a cube, these are then combined into a large set of multiple resolution files that use Flash for display on PC’s and HTML5 for display on mobile devices. You’ll be able to zoom in more on PC’s and Mac’s than you’ll be able to on mobile devices

I hope you enjoy this display of the Calvary Lutheran Church in New Windsor, IL.

TPC at Deere Run

edgeThe John Deere Classic is now just 56 days away. I thought I’d stop out at the golf course and grab a few photos of the clubhouse and course. Take a look.

Project "Can Do" Combine

edgeThe Project “Can Do” Combine in the John Deere Pavilion.

Over 300,000 cans, hundreds of volunteers, one very worthy cause.

Here are a few 360 Panoramas of the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, IL with the Project “Can Do” Combine on display. This is a life size combine sculpture that measures 80 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 16 feet tall and is constructed entirely from cans of food. On December 11th, 2011 this sculpture will be torn down and all the food will be donated to the local Food Bank ... enough food to feed 150 families for an entire year.

I’ve been wanting to do some panoramas of the John Deere Pavilion and this seemed like a perfect time. Click on the poster print below to view the panorama.

And ... a few stills are available here.

edge


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